Barring a formal extension, U.S. citizens are expected to file their taxes by the 15th of next month. While some individuals are brave enough to attempt to decipher complex tax rules and complete their own taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service, an estimated 63 percent of Americans seek the assistance of tax preparers. However, some may be surprised to learn that a sizable percentage of the estimated 1.2 million American tax preparers have no formal training or certification.
While certifications and licenses are readily required in many professions, in most states, such requirements do not pertain to individuals who make a living preparing taxes. As such, industry experts assert that unlicensed tax preparers may be filing tax documents that contain numerous errors. If and when such errors are identified, it's often the individual taxpayer and not the tax preparer who is subject to IRS imposed fines and penalties.